Monday, September 3, 2007

I See Gloria Vanderbilt and I Want to Paint her Black

I have found Utopia, and it is Black Mountain, North Carolina.

We went to the mountains yesterday, specifically to see a town called Asheville. I have heard about this town for 20 years. My grandparents were obsessed with it (they pronounced it "Ayshevull"), mostly because there is a Vanderbilt mansion there that they loved to visit. The driveway of the place is three miles long. Those Vanderbilts made a fortune selling those jeans, didn't they? BAH!

I had me some Gloria Vanderbilt perfume in 11th grade. I smelled some at CVS the other day. I was right back at my little vanity, surrounded by my Paper Moon Graphics cards (did anyone else love those?), Billy Squire playing, sporting my Jordache jeans.

But I digress.

Everyone on earth has been telling us about Asheville. They say it is like Ann Arbor (a cool town in Michigan) or Seattle (a cool town in Washington) or San Francisco (a cool town in California) or Paris (a cool town in general). So we went.

And you know it was full of your filthy hippies? Don't get me wrong. I enjoy being among the hippies, visiting the hippie stores and watching the drum circles and seeing the liberal bumper stickers ("These Colors Don't Run...Other Countries"). But I already LIVED in Seattle. I already dated patchouli boys, getting smacked in the face with their dreadlocks. I am too old and, frankly, too intolerant for that sort of a thing anymore. I want to say, "Do you even THINK about having a 401(k)?" or "How do you think those tattoos up your arm are gonna look when you're a gramma?"

I do not know when I became this person. As a child of hippies, I spent 74,000 weekends in the aforementioned Ann Arbor, protesting the war or Nixon or nukes or whatever we were pissed about at the time. I ran around naked, giving peace a chance and such. I guess I got over it.

Anyway, we liked Asheville, but when we were leaving, we decided to visit the next town over, Black Mountain. I should have known I'd like it because it had "Black" in the title. Four of my favorite songs have "Black" in the title (Black Dog, Black Hole Sun, Paint it Black, and especially Black [by Pearl Jam]).

Oh, was it ever cute there. You are absolutely surrounded by green mountains (I really didn't SEE a black mountain) and cute cute cute little stores: chocolate shops, hardware stores that had really cool things (oh! Did I want to buy the lip gloss at said hardware store! They had Baby Ruth flavor, Razzle flavor, Bit O Honey flavor...), antique emporiums, coffee bars...

We DID buy a table at an antique shop, but get your knickers out of your nether regions (I am crude today, aren't I?). We had no kitchen or dining room table. The one we had in Burbank broke so we donated it to charity. Nice. "Hey, poor person! Have a cracked table!" (It was just wobbly. It'd work well enough in a pinch. We just didn't want to move it all the way here.)

Anyway, we got us a gray Formica and chrome 1950s table with a hidden leaf built inside of it. Oh! It is cool. Here is a picture of KIND of what it looks like. Ours is more of a butterfly, boomerang sort of pattern.

Sadly, we have no chairs to go with it yet, but that is our next project.

And finally, I did get up the nerve to count our money, which I knew would be lessened after this cross-country move. We have $11,217.40 to our name, as of today. Which is still better than the $500 we had at the beginning of the year. So perhaps I should calm down. Maybe I should be more of a hippie...


dcrmom said...

We honeymooned near Asheville (and never went to the Vanderbuilt mansion, pathetic, eh?) at the Graystone Inn. Check it out sometime, when you're spending money again. :-)

Catherine said...

I had to laugh at your description of the hippies in Asheville. When I was there on vacation, I wanted to have a spa day -- while I was getting my nails done, my nail tech told me about her cranial sacral (?) adjustment, the client next to me was an astrologer/therapist ("It's really great, because I can do whichever people want, if they want the astrology, that's fine, if they don't, that's fine too."), and her nail tech was talking about having her chart done. When my spa day was over, I told me dad "I don't think I'm open-minded enough for this town!" I mean, it took a lot for me not to laugh at the astrologer/therapist, although I managed somehow.

It's a great place for vegetarians, though -- great restaurants.

Bronwyn said...

LOVE the table. From what you've said about your '50's decor, it will be a perfect match. Hope you can find the chairs too.

I go to NC at least yearly, to visit my husband's family, and we have yet to visit Asheville, and from what you say, I think Black Mountain would be a better choice! Maybe next time.

June Cutoff Cash said...

I don't want to discourage anyone from Asheville, Bronwyn. It really is a cool place! Go to both!!

gramakas said...

Thanks for the "check out" report of Asheville and Black Mountain...I think I need to prepare for the unexpected... I'm getting excited. Now, I just need to figure out what to pack!

Tee said...

Black Mountain is a wonderful place!!!! My aunt and uncle had a house there and we LOVED going up there. Next time you need to eat at the Red Rocker Inn. It's a Bed and Breakfast that serves lunch. You will need to make reservations because space is limited if you aren't a guest at the Inn. You might even bump into Billy Graham while there, if he is able to get out. He lives just up the road at Montreat. Asheville, unfortunately, has changed quite a bit. Everyone needs to visit the Biltmore House at least once (Vanderbuilt's mansion). Christmas is a good time with all the decorations.

June Cutoff Cash said...

Of course, Tee, all that restaurant-ing and Vanderbilt-ing will have to wait till January 1, when I will spend like a drunken... something that is very drunk.

Anonymous said...

Hi June,

Do you like the song Black Coffee in Bed by Squeeze?

Anonymous said...

Did you know that Gloria Vanderbilt is Andersen Cooper's mother? aunt Kathy

Anonymous said...

Just visited Asheville to see a relative who just moved back there from Atlanta (an outspoken, abrupt, sometimes cynical brother-in-law). He described the hippies there now as children of the wealthy who are loaded but don't know what to do with the money so they just "hang-out" (his perspectives are always very interesting). My two daughters (both in their 20's) were with us and we are still laughing about one of his was a Sunday night right after a big Asheville Festival and we went to a pub to see his son who works there. It was deadsville. No one anywhere. My brother-in-law said, "them g*&%$#dam hippies musta burnt themselves out by now." I guess you had to be there.
Aunt Wende